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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2008 Dec;74(24):7790-801. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01819-08. Epub 2008 Oct 24.

Loss of gibberellin production in Fusarium verticillioides (Gibberella fujikuroi MP-A) is due to a deletion in the gibberellic acid gene cluster.

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  • 1Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Institut für Botanik, Schlossgarten 3, 48149 Münster, Germany.

Abstract

Fusarium verticillioides (Gibberella fujikuroi mating population A [MP-A]) is a widespread pathogen on maize and is well-known for producing fumonisins, mycotoxins that cause severe disease in animals and humans. The species is a member of the Gibberella fujikuroi species complex, which consists of at least 11 different biological species, termed MP-A to -K. All members of this species complex are known to produce a variety of secondary metabolites. The production of gibberellins (GAs), a group of diterpenoid plant hormones, is mainly restricted to Fusarium fujikuroi (G. fujikuroi MP-C) and Fusarium konzum (MP-I), although most members of the G. fujikuroi species complex contain the GA biosynthesis gene cluster or parts of it. In this work, we show that the inability to produce GAs in F. verticillioides (MP-A) is due to the loss of a majority of the GA gene cluster as found in F. fujikuroi. The remaining part of the cluster consists of the full-length F. verticillioides des gene (Fvdes), encoding the GA(4) desaturase, and the coding region of FvP450-4, encoding the ent-kaurene oxidase. Both genes share a high degree of sequence identity with the corresponding genes of F. fujikuroi. The GA production capacity of F. verticillioides was restored by transforming a cosmid with the entire GA gene cluster from F. fujikuroi, indicating the existence of an active regulation system in F. verticillioides. Furthermore, the GA(4) desaturase gene des from F. verticillioides encodes an active enzyme which was able to restore the GA production in a corresponding des deletion mutant of F. fujikuroi.

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